WARNING 7.62 x 25mm

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Logansdad, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    WARNING:
    some dangerous 7.62 x 25 ammunition is lurking out there
    by Kirby (TheOG) Sanders

    http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Gorge/4653

    Please feel free to print and post or distribute this article at your range, GOA and NRA meetings or other shooters' gatherings. It's about life and death safety, not copyrights and egos.

    I certainly try not to be alarmist at all costs, but there appears to be some very dangerous surplus 7.62x25 ammunition out there. This is especially important for the owners of Czechoslovakian CZ52 pistols and something to be noted by those who own and shoot the various .30 Mauser calibre firearms.
    Ammunition-test results reported by one of the owners of a blown CZ52 on April 21, 1999, indicate the sample ammo in question generated an AVERAGE of 46,000 c.u.p. with some rounds spiking to an incredible (and extremely dangerous) 55,000 c.u.p., pressures more commonly found in magnum rifle cartridges! The tests were obligingly run by the Accurate Gunpowder Company.
    Please, do not misconstrue this article to be a condemnation of either the CZ52 or 7.62x25 calibre in general. It is neither. I shoot and enjoy my CZ52 more frequently than many of the other pistols I own. This is a specific warning about one specific batch of ammunition from one specific country of origin.
    The ammunition headstamped as illustrated top left and packaged in the pink paper bottom left has been reported to have been the likely cause of at least two breech explosions, feed-failures resulting in jammed slides and NUMEROUS incidences of split cases upon firing, particularly notable are numerous reports of splitting around the neck of the case. The likelihood that the ammunition caused these firearm failures is pretty much a certainty, given the results of the tests by Accurate.
    This ammunition has traveled various gun shows around the country marked as being produced in sevreal different Eastern European countries. It appears to be and has been most frequently referred to as Bulgarian ammunition.

    U.S. Department of Defense information indicates this stuff is, indeed Bulgarian, but be careful at the gunshows and check your headstamps. It may be known by many names.

    My particular investigation of this ammunition began as the reult of a post on Tuco's Collector Firearms forum from a Californian named Chris. He sent me the following photos of the damage to his pistol and wrote:

    On Jan. first I was teaching my friend how to shoot a hand gun using my CZ-52. Thank god I made him wear glasses. On my second reload, the fourth shot, I believe, the gun let go. I was standing behind him (thank God). I noticed a lot more smoke, and smoke from the frame of the gun. The slide broke all the way across the top, and humped up. The chamber had a wide crack in it and the case failed where the chamber was slit. I can see the primer holes on the in side of the case from the out side of the gun. The barrel was new and had about 100 rounds though it, and on inspection the barrel is clear.

    I think it was the ammo. This is due to the smoke cloud (large) out the front, as well as the extra burning powder in the cloud. This, I belive, is the same ammo I had the last barrel fail on. However, I was not sure due to sooting some polish ammo as well that day. I also thought it may have been the old barrel. Now I am sure that it was the ammo with the star that comes in the paper pack. I think its Bulgarian, the head stamp is as follows: star at 12 O'clock, 10 at 3o'clock, 52 at 6, and 9 at 9 O'clock. I am out the gun and one new barrel. Do not use this ammo in a CZ-52, Your luck may not be as good as mine. I have never seen a gun fail so bad as this. --cjl--

    After a couple of e-mails, Chris double-checked the headstamp and reported back that his ''9 at 9 o'clock'' was, indeed a ''3'' in that position. He also noted in further posts that:

    "The first barrel was stock, the second one (and last ever) was { a well-known after-market supplier and armorer). When I got the barrel #2, I put a round in and in looked like the first one had. Both wrong the same way? The Bulgarian rounds did extract hard sometimes, leaving a nick on the rim...."

    Having then posted my own note to Tucos and another to the c-r-ffl firearm collectors' bulletin board, I received no less than a dozen replies from across the country-- none with anything good to say about this particular headstamp. I also requested and received shot brass from four fellows-- one each from Texas, New Jersey, California and Missouri. All of these samples showed at least one case with a split neck. The worst example having separated by about 1.5mm and missing a goodly chunk of the brass. One of the other worst-case cartridges had a split of about 1cm at the top of the neck and also appeared to be missing some brass. These splits were a fairly consistant 1cm (10mm) long through the neck and shoulder and into the body of the cases.

    After several weeks of consideration and speculation, exactly why this stuff is blowing up remains unknown. The most reasonable theories are brittle brass, a breakdown in composition of the gunpowder due to age or a mis-mixed formula that was surplused rather than destroyed. Of those, a bad batch seems most likely. I have received a couple of e-mails indicating shooters having used a star-10-53-3 headstamp that performed as expected. Personally, I would question the 1953 version as well, just to be on the safe side.

    My initial conclusion and opinion of what probably happened to cause this barrel blow-out is that one cartridge-neck had probably split, leaving a bit of brass inside the chamber. The next round then fed but the bullet jammed against the brass and the bore wall creating an immobile obstruction at the back of the barrel. When that round fired, the pressure had nowhere to go but through the walls of the barrel and slide. In other words, a textbook case of the danger of ammo prone to neck splits.



    Given the test Results from Accurate, I now consider it equally to more likely that either frequent use of this ammunition by those who had purchased large quantities OR use of this ammunition in guns that had been Fired more frequently as service pieces were sufficiently 'fatigued' that this ultra-hot ammunition pushed them 'over the edge.'

    The text of the April 21 reports from Chris are as follows:

    I just received the pressure test results and they are alarming! The average pressure was 46,000 cup with round spiking as high as 55,000 cup. The CZ was not designed to withstand pressures in this range nor was the barrel supplied by Federal Ordnance. These are magnum rifle cartridge pressures that are well beyond the design limits of most handguns!

    AND

    I received confirmation of the test results obtained by Accurate with regard to the surplus Bulgarian ammunition that was submitted for further testing. The results are rather alarming in that the average pressure of the tested rounds was recorded at 46,000 c.u.p. with rounds spiking as high as 55,000 c.u.p. during these tests. The highest pressures that were recorded exceed the pressure limitations of most handgun designs. In fact, these pressures are close to the range of pressures often reserved for proof-loads.

    Continued use of this ammunition in any auto-loading pistol will eventually result in catastrophic structural failure and cause irreparable damage to the pistol.

    This ammunition will destroy weaker designs such as the TT-33 or the C-96. Fortunately, the incidents reported to date only involve use with the stronger CZ-52 pistols and no serious injuries have resulted from its use.

    All stocks of this ammunition should be recalled and destroyed because it poses a significant threat to the safety of the average firearms enthusiast or firearms owner who might be oblivious to the dangerous nature of this lot of surplus ammunition. Additionally, metallurgical testing indicates that the ductile and elastic properties of the case material are less than ideal which further complicates this issue. This ammunition is definitely the cause of the mysterious blow-ups that have been reported by several CZ-52 owners.

    The metallurgy of the "after market" stainless steel barrels, original barrels, and the CZ pistols is adequate to withstand the stresses generated by firing standard pressure ammunition.


    Regards,
    Chris

    Whatever the exact cause, the evidence indicates that this ammunition is unreliable and dangerous. If you have any of this ammunition, Do Not Shoot It. Trash it or part it out and save the bullets. It might be safe to ditch the powder and reload the cases with a known light load, but I would consider even this to be unwise given the possibility that the problems might involve aged or just plain crappy brass. My recommendation for reloaders-- if you choose to salvage ANYTHING, salvage only the bullets.

    Thus far, no one has been killed or injured by this stuff blowing up. Don't you be the first.
  2. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

  3. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

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  4. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    shoulda made it it's own thread Joe..you just don't care about us..wantin' us to hurt ourselves with some 7.62x25mm ammo
  5. Dale

    Dale G&G Newbie

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    I've only shot Sellier and Bellot in mine.

    In fact, I can't recall seeing any surplus around here.

    But, thanks for the heads up.

    This is another good arguement FOR reloading. If you follow known safe load data and your gun is in good, safe and proper conditions you shouldn't have to worry.
  6. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

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    Just SOME people.......:eek: :eek: :p
  7. Logansdad

    Logansdad Guest

    my feelin's are hurt..I'll cry when no one's lookin'
  8. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

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    Didn't mean you....:rolleyes: :D
  9. grizzly

    grizzly G&G Newbie

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    Don't Worry Papa G.

    I got your back....And the sights on my AK are straight...
  10. Sniper[MI]

    Sniper[MI] G&G Newbie

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    Yup

    Chukie Schumer, Diane Feinstien, Barbara Boxer, Barbara Streisand, Teddy kennedy, John Kerry, Dick Gebhart....they should all have boxes of the stuff........
  11. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

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    There ya go! :right:
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